Pregnancy can really do a number on our bodies. All of those hormones and the stress and struggle that comes with pregnancy can leave bums and tums that you were once proud of an unsightly mess, despite how much work you're putting in and how strict you're being with your eating and exercise. However, there's a new secret that might just help you get back to the shape you want to be: you need the best postpartum girdle!
Far from being the thing you'd find in the back of your grandmother's closet, postpartum girdles are being used more and more. They're even recommended by celebrities like Jessica Alba, who points to them as being a major contributor to her getting her fantastic shape back after both of her children.
Also called belly wraps, they are specially designed, medical quality belly wraps that are created entirely to support a woman's body in the few key months after delivering a baby. That is, they help in healing the belly.
Unlike other types of belly wraps and bands, postpartum wraps put pressure on different muscle groups, reinforcing the muscles that might have been weakened through carrying all that baby weight, as well as the traumatic stress of actually giving birth to a child!
By compressing and supporting these weakened areas, postpartum belly wraps help your body to heal itself from the inside first, making it so much easier to get back to your natural shape and feel happy and healthy again. But how do you choose one? Well, first it's important to know what a girdle like this does, and why that's good for you.
There's a whole bunch of reasons to wear one. After all, the best postpartum girdles are designed to reinforce all the parts of your body that might be a little weak because of those long months carrying your babies, plus of course what happens when it comes to delivery time!
By supporting and compressing the uterus and surrounding muscles, they reduce uterus swelling and improve your posture, which leads to a noticeable reduction in back pain, as well as much faster recovery.
After giving birth, the muscles of your pelvic floor and abdominal wall weaken, which can cause the uterus to tip forward. This affects future childbirth, as well as looking really unsightly. By supporting and reinforcing these muscles, especially in the first few key months, you can prevent this from happening.
The lymph system needs strong muscles to work, because it's muscle contractions that help push lymph fluid through your body to continue its important function. Lymph is essential for pretty much every system your body has, so a slow or weak lymph system is pretty major. Weak abdominal muscles can lead to fluid build up and swelling, which will slow down your healing, as well as leading to a bloated stomach.
This is a weird name, but a simple syndrome. It's when overstressed abs separate, leaving a hole in the centre of your belly where the muscles should be. It's these muscles that hold us up straight, and they're key to pretty much everything we do. (Think about all the times you've heard exercise programs stress about 'strengthening your core').
The uterus pushing on these muscles during pregnancy can cause them to separate, but wearing a girdle helps to heal them by encouraging the muscles back into their normal position.
When we know we look good, we feel good, and even though the way you look right now isn't your fault, there's no reason you can't throw on a girdle and slip back into clothes that make you feel sleek and sexy again.
Loose skin on the belly is an unfortunate side effect of pregnancy, and leaving it to wobble around all day can lead to it not retreating back properly, or even give you stretch marks! Plus it's uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful, to move and feel it move with you! They hold everything in place down there so all of this stops being a problem.
Not really. Apart from the comfort aspect, which will quickly fade once you get used to it, because your body probably isn't used to being held and supported in all of these places so tightly, there aren't any real downsides I can think of.
Postpartum belly wraps even have a quick release flap that covers the groin area, which not only gives you easy access when it's time to nip to the loo, it also helps to keep this area clean and protected against post birth discharge.
As always, ask your doctor. But honestly, you're probably going to be told you can start wearing it the day after deliver. Your doctor might even recommend you start wearing a belly wrap as soon as possible. After all, the benefits are medically sound and recognised!
It's recommended that you wear it constantly for the first week after giving birth, even sleeping in it. This will give your body the maximum support possible, in the most important time for your body to heal.
After this week, you can start to take it off when you sleep. You should wear your girdle for the next four to six weeks like this, and then you should be free to use your own judgement.
Some women continue to wear theirs for two to three months, and some are fine with just the first few weeks.
Buying one can be like buying clothes. Run down our checklist to make sure you're getting the best one possible.
There's no question about it. This is the top choice, and one that all other brands have to measure up to. It's not just me that thinks that, either. It's literally the brand recommended by doctors, because it works so well.
This is because Bellefit girdles have a completely unique shape that's designed to follow the curve and contour of your natural musculature underneath your skin, so it supports everything and pushes it all back to where it should be.
They're made from the highest quality medical grade materials. This postpartum girdle is completely hypoallergenic, so you shouldn't get any rashes or skin irritation when wearing it, which is obviously good, considering how much you will be wearing it.
And it's a pleasure to wear as well. Even though it's so tight, it hugs everything in all the right places, and after a little while you won't even realise it's on. Bellefit are also great for dealing with the after effects of a C section, and will hold everything in place as it heals.
There's multiple types available, too, in case you wanted a little more choice. The one we choose is the pull up girdle, because it's got increased support, but it can be a little harder to put on. If you'd prefer a type with front mounted hooks that's easier to fasten, you can find it here.
There really is no better girdle on the market. If you can afford it, then I think you should always choose this over any other brand. You won't regret it.
A great budget option that doesn't feel cheap, this girdle is a really solid second choice on our list and perfect for any woman who hasn't ever worn one before and is looking for something simple and easy to use.
Because it comes in three separate pieces, this girdle is so simple to put on it's unbelievable, but the strong Velcro straps keep it secure and in place once it's there. There's also some pretty strong built in boning that supports your stomach and back, taking a whole load of pressure off, which feels so good in the first few days after giving birth.
Despite the fact that it's so secure, it also feels really good to wear, with soft, flexible, and most importantly breathable fabric, so you aren't going have to go through the day feeling sweaty and sticky. I just wish it was easier to pick the right size, so make sure you pay close attention when you're buying one!
If the Bellefit didn't quite catch your eye, or you're just looking for a standard postpartum girdle, this is a really good pick. Strong and secure, it will give you all the support you need.
A simple slimline belly wrap, for the woman who needs something more subtle that can maybe slip under a jacket when she leaves the house, this is a great choice.
This is a postpartum girdle style, so naturally it's got less support than other styles that cover a whole lot more, but that doesn't mean that this doesn't give you the support your body needs.
It's made of stretchable, flexible fabrics that allow it to adjust perfectly to suit your shape, and the large fastening straps are easy to manoeuvrer and hold really well, hugging to every contour.
You can also use this one whilst exercising, which is a great bonus if you're already itching to get back into your routine. Just remember to start slow!
If you're looking for a smaller, less obtrusive belly wrap, then it's got to be a toss up between this and the Bellefit.
Really adjustable and with options to scale this down as you go through the healing process, DiCool's girdle is a great choice if you want huge amounts of support now, and still want a little bit of support in a few weeks without having to wear the full on girdle.
Because this breaks down into two sections, a waist belt and pelvis belt, if you feel you need more support in a certain area, just keep that part on, which is such a good option I'm surprised more girdles don't have it. As an example of how this could be useful, you could keep the pelvis belt on for the first few weeks whilst you sleep, whilst taking off the waist belt for increased comfort.
You probably wouldn't have to, though, because this is really comfortable to wear. The fabric is breathable, and stiff without being uncomfortably hard. There's less flexibility to this than some other girdles we've looked at, but it's not to the point of being uncomfortable.
The only real issue I've seen is that sizing can be a problem, so it might even be worth ordering a couple of these in different sizes and sending one back!
Overall though, for a girdle that gives you incredible support and has options for comfort and wear, this is really good, and it's an option I would definitely look at if I needed the a postpartum girdle.
Remember, it's best to buy a belly band before you give birth, so you have it ready and waiting for when you get home with your new baby, (or babies!) So make sure you get prepared!
Did you use one of these best postpartum girdle options after having your last child? How did it go? Any tips or tricks an expectant mother should think about? If you have any comments be sure to share in the comments below!
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